Embryonic First Impressions

I love The Flaming Lips; well, everything they’ve done since Clouds Taste Metallic that is. With the exception of a few songs, their early stuff just doesn’t really appeal to me much. I’d describe the band’s current music as a crazy mix between Pink Floyd and Radiohead. The music definitely pays homage to the 60s and 70s, which is at this point my favorite music era – I have more favorite groups from that time period than any other and I think the explosion of creativity and rebellion was absolutely incredible. As just one example, ever notice how My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion is basically a loose cover of The Kinks’ End of the Season? There also seem to be several similarities to Pink Floyd’s early work. Wow! Speaking of Pink Floyd, I was just reading a bit on Wikipedia and noticed that the band’s next album will be a cover of Dark Side of the Moon! I almost fell out of my chair when I read that – just announced yesterday.

Anyway, I went all out and pre-ordered the limited edition that comes with the extremely high quality music on DVD as an extra. I’d say I’ve listen to Embryonic at least 10 times at this point and at this point I think it’s a fantastic addition to the collection. That being said, people should be aware that the album is mostly experimental, strays far from the pop-like songs of the last few albums that are easy to follow and sing along with, and seems to be heavy on the instrumentals and light on the vocals. Is this a bad thing? Not at all in my opinion but some of the newer fans that have been attracted to the band by their more “catchy” tunes might be a little disappointed. The only thing I find disappointing is the fact that it’s only about 70min. long. This experimental, jam session-type music usually goes on longer and is just more drawn out, in general, with other bands. For example, occasionally I like to listen to Nine Inch Nail’s Ghosts while doing work at my computer, which is about 2 hours in length. I’m not a big NIN fan but seem to like listening to experimental, mostly instrumental albums in the background when working.

The songs that have stuck with me the most so far include Watching the Planets, Worm Mountain, and probably The Egos’ Last Stand. Disc 2 definitely seems to have more highlights for me though there are maybe only one or two songs that I’d continuously skip. Haunting, dreamy, humorous (I Can Be A Frog), and hypnotic – this is a must own for Flaming Lips fans and anyone who can appreciate a great experimental/instrumental album.

I’d rate it a 4/5.